British & Irish Cup: Worcester Warriors 34 Plymouth Albion 11
Worcester Warriors’ academy manager Andrew Stanley is confident of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the British and Irish Cup after watching his team come out as comfortable winners over Plymouth Albion.
Stanley, who has taken charge for the competition in place of the club’s head coach Richard Hill, watched on as a brace of tries from Dale Rasmussen and scores from Tom Arscott, Oriol Ripol and Nile Dacres secured the win to leave Pool A wide open.
Warriors now sit three points behind second-placed Leinster with a game in hand, and wins from their visit to Currie and home clash with leaders Cornish Pirates will be enough to see them through.
“Pirates getting beat in Newport means we are back in the mix and in control of our own destiny.
“We have every chance now in this pool if we take our chance.
“Going up to Currie is a mental thing and we will have to be on the money,” said Stanley.
“We had some young boys playing against a large proportion of the Plymouth first team.
“There was a sticky period for us either side of half time, but fortunately for us we were able to put enough tries away.”
Warriors were quick out the blocks and, after the forwards claimed Joe Carlisle’s kick-off, Rasmussen fumbled a pass behind him but managed to reclaim the ball and pick a gap to round the Plymouth forwards and stretch to touch down.
Carlisle missed the conversion before Kieren Hallett got his side moving with an easy penalty in front of the posts.
After a scrappy start, Warriors were beginning to dominate and quickly scored their second try after Matt Kvesic claimed an overthrown Plymouth line-out.
Following two strong hand-offs, he took the ball 50-metres to the visitor’s ten metre line.
The young flanker almost touched down his own move after the ball had been through the forwards but the ball was eventually worked through the hands of Carlisle and Willie Walker to allow Arscott to touch down in the corner.
The blustery conditions again saw Carlisle miss his kick but Warriors kept the pressure on at the scrum.
Despite spending more the ten minutes in Plymouth territory, however, the hosts only came away with a Carlisle penalty.
Albion had a golden chance to get back into the game but Hallett failed to find his man after a five on one break looked certain to yield their first try.
Following the move Warriors scrum half Andy Williams was forced off with a hand injury which saw him taken to hospital.
Fly half Hallett was successful with his next kick though to make it 13-6 at half time.
The visitors started the second half strongly but it was Warriors who added to the scoreboard as Rasmussen streaked through the line to touch down for his second of the afternoon.
Carlisle added the extras as Warriors went in search of the bonus point. Rasmussen though he had his hat-trick but Kvesic’s pass was forward but Warriors did find their try soon after as good hands from Alex Grove put in Ripol in the corner.
Amid a host of changes for the home side Plymouth grabbed one back thanks to Robin Copeland, and quickly found themselves playing against 14 men after Kvesic was sent to the sin bin.
Depleted Warriors held their visitors and it was the home side who had the final word as young replacement Dacres crossed after good work from Andy Short for a fifth try which was converted by Carlisle.
The game was brought to an abrupt end after Greg King suffered a suspected broken cheekbone after a late hit at a ruck, and the centre joined Williams in hospital.
Worcester: tries: Rasmussen (2), Arscott, Ripol, Dacres; conversions: Carlisle (3); penalty: Carlisle.
Plymouth: try: Copeland; penalties: Hallett (2).